By most standards Joseph, Jacob’s son had many difficult knocks he endured for years! He was despised by his brothers, sold into slavery, wrongly accused, thrown into prison and was forgotten by two other prisoners who should have helped him for his acts of kindness toward them. He lived an isolated life from his family and friends for 20 years and despite all the challenges he faced, he was not embittered or revengeful! During those troubling years of Joseph’s life the Bible records, “The Lord was with Joseph, so he succeeded in everything he did as he served in the home of his Egyptian master” (Genesis 39:2 NLT). Despite all the difficulties he faced, God was leading him and was preparing him for his purpose! God put a dream in Joseph’s heart and was with him to fulfill it.
The same is true for you and me. Just because we are facing adversity in our lives doesn’t mean that God has abandoned us or has left us to fend for ourselves. He is ever present in our times of trouble to guide and lead us for His good purpose. God eventually raised Joseph up to be put in charge of all the land of Egypt except for matters of the throne (Genesis 41:38-44). He saved all of Egypt and his entire family from a devastating famine that affected the whole known world! In God’s perfect timing, He brought the dream in Joseph’s heart to pass – his entire family bowed down to him…something only God could bring about. When Joseph finally met his brothers face to face and revealed himself to them, he said, “But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. This famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God has sent me ahead of you to keep you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. So it was God who sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt” (Genesis 45:5-8 NLT).
God really gave Joseph eyes of faith to see the way He sees and not the way the carnal mind views situations. It was faith in God and the dream God put in Joseph’s heart that kept him moving forward one day at a time!
I had times in my own life that seemed so unfair and unjust! I asked God, “Why am I going through these things…why me?” At the age of 16 my parents divorced devastating me and wounding my heart so deeply. During this time, I was sexually molested by a friend of the family. I could not understand why this stuff was happening to me! Then in college, as if that wasn’t enough, I went through a real questioning time in my Christian walk. It was so severe that I sank deep into depression and almost committed suicide. After this, I started experiencing homosexual thoughts in my mind and gave into them. I had no clue who I could talk to about the confusion going on inside. It was like one blow after another. Then two of my really good friends in college were killed in a car accident! My brain was so fried from all these overwhelming experiences that I didn’t know what to do. I cried out to God with everything in me…HELP!!!!!!! In the midst of my broken mess, God – the Great Physician, reached into my heart and began to transform me from the inside out! Twelve years later, God used those difficulties to crush me of me and caused me to depend on Him completely for everything! He used what seemed like horrible trials to help shape and mold me to be more like Christ.
I know God so much deeper today because He walked through the storms with me! And now, He is using me to reach hurting broken individuals all over the world helping them know that God LOVES them and offers HOPE, FORGIVENESS, GRACE, ACCEPTANCE and POWER to OVERCOME in a relationship with Him! I look back at my life thus far and stand amazed at God’s unending love and mercy and His power to transform a shattered life!
If God can use difficulties to propel Joseph and me into our God given destinies, He can definitely do it for you! Don’t give up when you are in the storm…Jesus is walking beside you! He will calm it in due season and you will look back and see His hand guiding you to a safe place! I am confident of this one thing: He who began the good work in you is faithful and just to bring it to completion!